May 31, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The community college system officially became two autonomous institutions today after a weekend of settling the final legal details by the two respective boards.
The New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB), are now managing separate English and French institutions.
"Today is the first official business day for the two new community college corporations and our government is pleased to pass the torch to these organizations comprised of individuals with an extensive wealth of experience," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. "This represents a huge step in modernizing the community college system and another commitment we have fulfilled as outlined in Be Inspired. Be Ready. Be Better. The Action Plan to Transform Post-Secondary Education in New Brunswick."
Arseneault attended both meetings, one with the NBCC board of governors in Fredericton and the other with the CCNB board of governors in Bathurst. The two chairs also attended their respective meetings.
"I am honoured and delighted to be part of the New Brunswick Community College team as it marks its first day as an independent and autonomous organization," said Cheryl Robertson, chair of the NBCC board. "Its vision of being a high quality student-focused post-secondary institution will be well represented by our founding Board of Governors."
Under the action plan, the provincial government committed to transforming the existing community college network into two autonomous agencies that respected the province's linguistic duality. This involved extensive legal and developmental work to build a new governance model and legislative changes that were passed recently.
"We are all aware that a new page is being written in the history of Acadian New Brunswick," said Armand Caron, chair of the CCNB board. "The very first meeting of the board of governors officially highlighted the establishment of an autonomous francophone college corporation. I am thrilled that we will be building a college corporation on the foundations of the CCNB that will swiftly and completely satisfy the needs of the community and the labour market."
Arseneault said there are several advantages to college autonomy, including: the ability to create more partnerships and have easier access to federal government and private sector funding; the ability to work more closely with industry to develop a greater number of applied and technical programs that will prepare students for jobs that are in-demand; and the creation of a system that better reflects the respective needs of both linguistic communities, is more community-oriented, has more accountability, and can form partnerships more easily with other post-secondary education institutions.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Lori-Jean Johnson, communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-476-0542; Sonya Gilks, communications, New Brunswick Community College, 506-444-3320; Paolo Fongemie, communications, Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick, 506-547-2197.